Perseus granted Sissingue exploitation permit

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Perseus Mining has been granted an Exploitation Permit (EP) by the Côte d’Ivoire government to the company’s Côte d’Ivoire subsidiary company Occidental Gold.

The EP covers the development of the company’s Sissingué gold deposit (Perseus 85 per cent, Government and local partner 15 per cent), which is part of the Tengrela gold project, in northern Côte d’Ivoire.

Perseus said it expects to receive a copy of the exploitation permit within a few days once normal registration procedures have been completed.

“We are delighted to hear that the Exploitation Permit for the Sissingué gold project has been granted and we are now looking forward to moving ahead with the development of our second producing gold mine at Sissingué,” Perseus Mining managing director Mark Calderwood said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We will be making a formal decision to commit to full development once the terms of the Exploitation Permit and details of relevant fiscal terms are confirmed and at that time we will provide a further update on the project.

“Assuming that final preparations for the development come together as planned, we would expect to commission the Sissingué gold mine in late 2013, and by 2014 Perseus will be producing in the order of 400,000 to 450,000 ounces of gold per year, firmly entrenching us in the ranks of mid-tier gold producers.”


Schematic of the proposed Sissingué processing plant. Source: Company announcement


Back in 2010, Perseus published the results of a Feasibility Study (FS) for the development of the Sissingué gold deposit.

This study defined the following key parameters:

–    Initial Probable Ore Reserve of 657,000 ounces of gold (using US$950 gold price pit design);

–    Production of 340,000 ounces (3.5 million tonnes at 3.3 grams per tonne) of gold in first two years of a six year mine life;

–    Cash costs in the first two years of US$421 per ounce, with mine life average cash costs of US$505 per ounce; and

–    Start-up capital cost of US$115 million plus a further $33 million capital expenditure over the remaining life of mine including expenditure on a HV power line costing an estimated US$28 million in year one.

After the release of the FS, the company’s development of Sissingué was interrupted by political unrest in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company said since stability was restored in mid-2011, the permitting process has progressed methodically and efficiently, taking less than 12 months from start to finish.

Since it published the FS, Perseus has undertaken additional drilling in the vicinity of the Sissingué gold deposit and has subsequently accumulated a large amount of drill data.

This data is currently being incorporated into an updated Mineral Resource model, which the company said will be used for detailed mine planning purposes.

Perseus is planning to release an updated Mineral Resource model and mine plan by the end of 2012.